Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Para’ athletics will end stigma over disabilities, says Ly Thuch



‘Para’ athletics will end stigma over disabilities, says Ly Thuch

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ly Thuch meets with a women’s Cambodian wheelchair basketball team that will compete at the ASEAN Para Games 2023 in June. Hong Menea

‘Para’ athletics will end stigma over disabilities, says Ly Thuch

Senior minister – and first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority – Ly Thuch said that he is committed to helping to improve the image of people with disabilities so that they will no longer experience discrimination and will be able to play their part in building the nation.

As the recently elected president of the Cambodian Wheelchair Basketball Federation, Thuch wants people with disabilities to show off their sporting abilities, so that people know that they have the ability to contribute.

“My role as president of the federation is to encourage people with disabilities to believe that they are capable of supporting their families, and that we all value their participation in the development of the country,” he told The Post.

According to Muy Seu, secretary-general of the federation, Thuch has become the first person to be elected president since the federation’s inception in 2012.

Thuch said that he had always viewed sport as an important activity for all communities.

“I want people living in communities affected by mines to start focusing on playing sports for general exercise. Who knows, with enough training, they may become star athletes,” he said.

Since assuming the presidency, Thuch’s most important task is to strengthen the quality of the Kingdom’s wheelchair basketball players ahead of next year’s 12th ASEAN Para Games 2023.

“Our plan is to create an ecosystem for our players to succeed on and off the court. The main goal for the wheelchair basketball team in 2023 is to grow awareness around persons with disabilities and the challenges they face in everyday.

“We are aiming to be the catalyst of conversation between communities surrounding disabilities while also remaining competitive,” he said.

Thuch also intends to encourage more people with disabilities to train in a sport, so they can show the potential of the disabled on the international stage.

“As president of the federation, I urge the whole world to end discrimination against people with disabilities,” he said.

“If a disabled athlete wins a gold medal in any sport, there will be no more social discrimination. He or she will have a good image and will have contributed to the promotion of national sports and the image of the country. This is encouraging for all people who are living with disabilities,” he added.

During a July 6 meeting with the Paralympic delegates at the Peace Palace, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that his chairmanship of the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia was aimed at promoting and encouraging people with disabilities and gave hope to the disabled people of Cambodia.

“Why am I president? Because I want to encourage and bring hope to all Cambodians with disabilities. I am also a disabled person,” he added.

The premier said he was living proof that people with disabilities were capable of achieving great things.

Focusing on himself, he said: “People with disabilities have the ability to become prime minister, and not just for a one or two-year term. I encourage those with disabilities to follow my example and participate in society as much as they can.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Siem Reap action plan for tourism in motion

    The action plan for the Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan (2022-2023), focusing on six priority destinations, has been implemented to boost tourism and regain pre-Covid tourist numbers in the province. The action plan sets out 17 strategies and 37 implementation activities for: Angkor Archaeological Park, Phnom